Lafleur restaurants, founded in Quebec in the early 1950s, have just quietly passed into the hands of the second generation of the Papagiannis family. A newly installed team that makes no secret of its ambitions to quickly double the size of the fast food chain.
“The North Shore of Montreal, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Saguenay… We want to expand our presence wherever the population base allows us. We are not closed off to any area, including outside the province” register George Papgiannis, the new CEO of the family business.
At 42, the latter is the son of Achilles Papgiannis, an immigrant from Greece, who landed in the country in 1971 at the age of 16.
In his 45 years of active life, the 68-year-old entrepreneur has always worked in fast food restaurants (Le Petit Québec, La Belle Province, Lafleur). The hours were long and the family had to quickly learn to get their hands dirty.
“At 10 years old, I cut potatoes on weekends in the kitchen with my dad! Remembers the young Papagiannis. Catering has always been a part of our lives.”
Today, with twenty years of experience in business and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Concordia University, George has agreed to carry the torch handed down to him by his father.
“Surely I could have sold before and to someone else. But what is the use of a lifetime’s work if nothing be left to our children? The father answers: The family is the most important thing. I am now convinced that George, taking the advice I have given him all my life, will be able to To grow the company to its fullest potential.”
This is how the chain of 16 restaurants, all but one of them “business” so far, are preparing for a new growth spurt.
In addition to investing heavily in modernizing its existing restaurants, the company is preparing for new openings.
Will she succeed by allowing herself to become a franchisee and sharing her recipe for success? Or by acquiring existing institutions throughout the province?
“It is true that localization is a key aspect of our success,” admits the new CEO, acknowledging at the same time that all of these options are on the table. “However, we are not yet ready to come up with our game plan.”
Soon across the country?
If all goes according to plan, the company will have 32 restaurants, double its current number, within ten years. And who knows, maybe some are out of the county?
Because the company regularly receives calls from investors interested in developing the chain in Ontario, the Maritimes, and even in the West, in Alberta and British Columbia.
“You have no idea how many Canadians from abroad have told me that Lafleur is their first stop when they arrive in Quebec, to enjoy a sausage or poutine!”
- Founded: 1951, by Dennis Venet
- Headquarters: Saint-Hubert
- Number of employees : 200
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